Can You Bring Fish On A Plane? (through TSA)

credit: Yay

Some may think it weird that people want to bring dead fish on a plane. Those people do not go on fishing trips. So, are fishermen allowed to bring their fish on planes, and are people allowed to bring their live pet fish on a flight too?

It is legal in most countries to travel by plane with fish, both live and dead. However, airlines can have different rules and regulations concerning the travel with fish. The traveler must also check whether the flight destination imposes restrictions or bans on the fish in question.

Can You Bring Your Fish On A Flight?

It may surprise many people, but bringing fish on a plane is permitted in the U.S. and many other countries. Most airlines allow passengers to bring fish, alive or frozen, on a commercial flight.

However, for various reasons, including creating messy situations that can cause discomfort to other passengers, strict rules must be followed for airport security to deem a passenger’s fish fit for plane travel. TSA imposes specific rules for travel with fish that must be followed to avoid confiscation.

In addition, individual airlines can have specific regulations that require extra preparation or documentation before travel. No matter the reason, it is in a traveler’s best interest to be thorough in their research before bringing fish to the airport.

Can You Bring Live Fish Through TSA?

TSA does allow passengers to pack live fish in their carry-on bags. However, packing live fish in checked luggage is strictly prohibited. Travelers who bring their live fish as carry-on must abide by the TSA requirements.

A traveler should have no problem with a TSA agent if their fish is alive and in a clear, spill-proof, and transparent container. In this instance, the fish container may exceed the standard limit of 3.4 ounces of water, as TSA makes an exception.

Passengers must remember to notify an agent through TSA, as they will want to visually inspect your fish and its container. It is up to the TSA agent present to decide whether the live fish is allowed to come on the plane.

Can You Bring Dead Fish Through TSA?

Fortunately for fishermen looking to bring back some catch from their fishing trip, TSA allows a passenger to bring fresh fish in both checked and carry-on bags. If the fish is frozen, passengers must ensure that it is wrapped in a waterproof material sealed off with tape.

For longer flights, it is important to pack the frozen fish right. Travelers should use plastic wraps that do not rip easily and can be sealed shut for many hours. Certain airlines provide plastic shipping containers that can be easily transported and stored by the airline.

When packing fish with ice, dry ice, or ice packs in a cooler box, or another container to keep it cool, travelers must ensure that the ice is fully frozen when going through TSA. If liquid has accumulated in the container, an agent will likely not let it go through.

Must You Inform Your Airline Before Bringing Fish?

Though TSA permits traveling with fish, a passenger’s airline may impose certain restrictions or have other requirements. It is encouraged to contact the airline in question well before the travel date to acquire the necessary information.

For example, some airlines can charge overweight costs if traveling with large amounts of fish or can add fish to the checked baggage allowance. And most airlines also want to inspect the fish container for approval onboard the flight even though TSA has already checked it.

Sometimes, a traveler is only allowed to use a soft-sided cooler bag, but in others, they must use hard-sided bags. If using dry ice in your carry-on, some airlines might point out an excess in dry ice weight, which can lead to extra fees.

Check The Flight Destination’s Regulations For Fish

Some states within the U.S. may ban some species while others do not. The traveler must ensure they know which fish is legal to travel with and which is not. This will help them avoid unwanted fines.

Double-checking the prohibited items overseas is even more important, as these vary greatly from country to country. As you will learn, some live or frozen fish are not allowed to be brought to certain countries.

Can You Travel With Fish Internationally By Plane

There are additional elements to consider when flying with fish internationally. Passengers must consider the destination country’s regulations, as they may need certain permits or fulfill other requirements that are not needed within the U.S.

Can You Bring Fish On A Plane To Europe?

Passengers traveling to Europe from a non-EU country are not permitted to bring meat (or dairy products) on the plane; however, fish and fish products fall into their category and can be brought on planes in restricted quantities.

Passengers arriving from non-EU countries must have declared the goods they have with them. Suppose airport security or other authorities find, during an official search, that a passenger is carrying undeclared fish. The fish will be confiscated in that case, and the passenger could be fined or prosecuted.

For instance, passengers will most likely need to have a permit if traveling with some fish-derived products, like sturgeon caviar, as many European countries have rules on carrying endangered animal species or products made from them.

Can You Bring Fish On A Plane To The U.K.?

It is legal to take fish on a plane to the U.K. The country has different regulations for travelers coming to EU countries and those coming from outside the EU, such as the U.S.

Travelers from the U.S. and other non-EU countries may bring up to forty-four pounds of fish per traveler. Fresh (gutted) fish, fish products, processed fish that is cooked, dried, smoked, or cured, prawns, and lobsters all fall under the fish category.

Can You Bring Fish On A Plane To Australia?

Australia is known for imposing strict regulations on what travelers can bring from outside the country. It is generally difficult to bring live animals to Australia, so travelers who intend to bring a live fish must be ready to engage in a lengthy administrative procedure.

The Australian Border Force website notes that declared canned fish products can be brought to Australia as long as they are commercially manufactured and packaged, are sealed, and do not need to be refrigerated or frozen before opening.

Things get more complicated with bringing fresh fish, as the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry imposes strict rules on specific kinds of seafood. Visit their website to find out more.

Can You Bring Fish On A Plane To Canada?

Passengers can bring fish to Canada. The country does impose bans on certain species, such as the Chinese mitten crab and Puffer fish. Passengers will require permits if they bring live fin fish that are identified as susceptible species of aquatic animal or if they bring more than ten uneviscerated dead fin fish.

Like Europe’s regulations, Canada requires permits or outright bans fish or fish-derived products considered endangered, like sturgeon caviar.

However, Canada allows international travelers to bring more fish than Europe, with a maximum of eighty-eight pounds for fresh fish, but twenty-two pounds of dried fish and two pounds of fish roe.